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February 22, 1985 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16

Friday, February 22, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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BY HEIDI PRESS
Local News Editor

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Call Issued To Strengthen
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_J



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LOCAL NEWS

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Rev. Alex J. Brunett, left, receives a gift from the American Jewish -
Committee for his work toward better interfaith relations. Pictured with
him are from left: Rabbi A. James Rudin, Rev. James Lyons and
Maurice Binkow, president of the Detroit Chapter of the AJCommittee.

Pointing out that Jews and
Christians have a spiritual bond
that is "unbreakable," Dr. Eugene
Fisher, executive director of the
Secretariat -for Catholic-Jewish
Relations, National Conference of
Catholic Bishops, called on Jews
and Christians to make this
"unique relationship grow for our
grandchildren and our future."
Speaking to more than 250 per-
sons Monday at St. Aidan's
Church in Livonia at a conference
commemorating the 20th an-
niversary of the Second Vatican
Council, Dr. Fisher called on Jews
and Christians to "build on the
bonds of this day" when the reli-
gious groups came together to
hold a dialogue on mutual con-
cerns.
The conference, one of several
to be held throughout the year in
various cities across the U.S., is
part of a nationwide program of
the American Jewish Committee
to commemorate the historic
changes brought about by Vati-
can Council II.
According to the American
Jewish Committee, Vatican
Council II, which was convened by
the late Pope John XXIII, is con-
sidered a turning point in
Catholic-Jewish relations. A
document issued by the council,
the Nostra Aetate (In Our Time),
repudiated the notion of collective
Jewish guilt for the crucifixion,
stressed the spiritual bond be-
tween Catholics and Jews and
called for mutual understanding
and respect between the two
faiths.
Dr. Fisher said the Council
opened up the pathway for
changes in religious textbooks,
which had previously painted
negative picture of Jews. In addi-
tion, he said, it gave the impetus
for a "renewal of thinking," re-
sulting in the formation of corn-
missions 'to establish relations
with the Jews and in new
guidelines for Catholic-Jewish re-
lations.
Part of the evening's program
was dedicated to workshops
wherein those attending could
discuss mutual concerns.
In a workshop entitled, "Issues
That Divide," Rabbi A. James

Rudin, . the evening's guest
speaker, and national director of
the American Jewish Commit-
tee's interreligious affairs de-
partment, and. Rev. James Lyons,
executive director of the Ecumen-
ical Institute for Jewish-
Christian Studies, responded to
questions on proselytizing and
conversion, the Middle East and
Israel, public policy, including
church-state separation and the
role of religion in the U.S.
Rev. Lyons remarked that Jews
and Christians have had relation-
ships for 2,000 years "but they've
been rotten. They've been
monologue. We found ourselves
talking at each other and by each
other." He called for continuing
dialogue between the two groups,
adding that the problem of trying
to hold a dialogue in - the past is
that "one instructed the other,"
rather than learning from each
other. "We've been teachers
rather than students."

He added that only by "rocking
the boat" can any progress be
made in strengthening Catholic-
Jewish ties. He lauded the pro-
gress made so far. "We are now
beginning to listen to each other
•and to share."
In his dinner address, Rabbi
Rudin traced Catholic-Jewish re-
lations prior to Vatican Council II
and up to the present.
"Catholics saw Jews as a
spiritually and sometimes physi-
cally surplus people. And Jews,
always a minority in Catholic
lands, saw Catholics as people
who were their potential or actual
murderer, physically and spiritu-
ally, a Church that professed love,
but a people who practiced ven-
omous hatred and abuse."
Rudin said that the establish-
ment of the state of Israel had led
to a "new and uncharted relation-
ship" between Catholics and
Jews, particularly as both groups
look-upon Jerusalem as a holy
city.
And in 1959 Pope John XXIII
proposed an ecumenical council.
Six years later the Vatican Coun-
cil II issued its now famous docu-
ments.
He called on his- audience to

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